Corey Wise, who was fired from his position as Douglas County School District superintendent on February 4 by the Board of Education‘s conservative majority, has filed a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Wise’s central claim is that he was ousted over “DCSD’s newly enacted equity policy,” which his opponents have equated to critical race theory, “and to end masking in DCSD schools, despite the potential lethal danger.”
Wise doesn’t want his latest move to be interpreted as an attack on Douglas County schools, but rather as an effort to help them reach their full potential.
“I’ve said this forever: I love the Douglas County School District,” stresses Wise, who spent 25 years with the DCSD; he worked as a teacher and principal before moving into executive roles that culminated with him being named interim superintendent in October 2020 and signing a three-year contract the following May to take the job permanently. “I love Douglas County, too, and I want us to be at our best.”
At the same time, he says that while “we’ve been through trials and tribulations before, this is different. But challenges give us an opportunity.”
Wise’s complaint, dated April 13 and filed by Denver’s Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC, acknowledges that he wasn’t dismissed “because of his personal identity or protected characteristics,” but because “through his advocacy on behalf of students and staff whose characteristics are protected by state and federal civil rights laws,” including those whose status falls under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and students of color, “the new Board majority associated Mr. Wise with such protected groups, and unlawfully fired him for that association and advocacy.”
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